To the Editor:
I went to Washington, D.C. recently and met with my congressman and senators to express the need for real health care reform and a public option on Thursday and it was real productive. U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of the 5th District, and my representative, said he is in full support of President Barack Obama and the plan for real health care reform to include the public option.
I also spoke with chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and a staffer of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and found them open to the discussion of health care reform. Their positions are different from that of my congressman but there is room for some common ground.
I told the stories of patients and friends who have been crushed by the burden of health care cost. I also tried to show how vulnerable the middle class is to financial devastation when a health care crisis develops in their lives. I shared the stories of a friend of mine who had a traumatic brain injury and is now facing bills that are leading his family to financial ruin and how his health coverage and prescription costs are so expensive that he may loose everything he has worked for his entire life. His family will suffer all because our health care system is broken.
We can't miss this opportunity as citizens to get involved in shaping the health care reform debate. I am optimistic that a plan that includes choice, access and coverage for all will come out of the House and am hopeful that the Senate can achieve the same.
I hope as a registered nurse to see the future of health care improved so that patients are treated as people and not commodities. We as a nation have the opportunity to say that we value life not only in the womb but throughout the span of one’s life. We can do this and should do this now as it is long overdue. Michael Chapman, RN Old Hickory
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